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How Would Tile Experts Clean Porcelain Tiles

How Would Tile Experts Clean Porcelain Tiles

Cleaning porcelain tiles can be daunting, and we've all been there—frustrated with stubborn stains and dirt that won't budge.

However, what’s even worse is that spending hours scrubbing them away without satisfying results gets us discouraged. And what still adds insult to injury is that we may need a professional to help clean our porcelain tiles.

We all know that cleaning porcelain tiles isn’t rocket science. Truly, it isn’t and never was. But what if you look at it from a tile expert’s perspective? If you did, you might discover that you’re damaging your porcelain tiles rather than cleaning them. So, what are the things you need to remember?

Find them all in this guide.

Basic Facts About Porcelain Tiles

Before we unveil the expert cleaning tips, let's understand what porcelain tiles truly are. Knowing their fundamentals will empower you to adopt effective cleaning practices and ensure that your tiles will always remain a timeless and resilient investment.

Composition and Manufacturing

Porcelain tiles are crafted from refined clay through a high-temperature firing process, setting them apart from ceramic tiles. The timeless, unique manufacturing process using refined clay to make porcelain tiles contributes essentially to their water resistance—making them ideal for your various living spaces.

Low Porosity

A key feature of porcelain tiles is their low porosity. This makes them resistant to water damage and staining. Furthermore, this quality is especially crucial in your living spaces where moisture resistance is essential—such as your bathrooms and kitchens. 

Variety in Finishes and Styles

Porcelain tiles come in glazed and unglazed varieties. Glazed porcelain tiles boast a smooth, shiny surface sealed with a clear or colored glaze, while unglazed porcelain tiles have a matte finish—allowing their color to penetrate the entire tile. Additionally, the variety in finishes gives homeowners options to suit their aesthetic preferences.

What’s even more interesting is that research demonstrates that the extruded porcelain stoneware tiles, both glazed and unglazed, have “antimicrobial (to act as a barrier to the bacteria’s growth during a long time), and anti-stain (easy to clean) actions, and possess high chemical resistance.”

This means that “[t]he tiles promote a population reduction of over 77% and 81% for the S. aureus [Staphylococcus aureus] and the E. coli [Escherichia coli] bacteria, respectively (Addition included).” In other words, extruded glazed and unglazed porcelain stoneware tiles are classy and good for your physical health, budget, and overall well-being.

Awaken Rectangle - Gray porcelain tile with stone texture and matte finish.Awaken Rectangle - Gray porcelain tile with stone texture and matte finish.
12x24 Awaken Rectangle Stone-look Porcelain Tile from the Enlite Collection
Turkish Skyline Rectangle – Brown polished marble-look porcelain tile on a living room floor.Turkish Skyline Rectangle – Brown polished marble-look porcelain tile on a living room floor.
12x24 Turkish Skyline Rectangle Marble Look Porcelain Tile from the Marble Attache Collection

Colors, Sizes, and Shapes

With a wide range of sizes, colors, and shapes, porcelain tiles offer you versatility for different applications. It only tells you whether you envision a sleek, modern look, rustic, traditional feel, or vibe; porcelain tiles can be tailored to your design preferences.

Hence, it implies that you can design your living spaces in whatever style you want with your porcelain tiles. Speaking of using porcelain tiles in your living room, this blog post might help you decide when to choose the suitable porcelain tiles for your living spaces.

Approaching Porcelain Tile Cleaning Like a Tile Expert

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s delve into the three pro tips that elevate your porcelain tile cleaning game.

Pro Tip No. 1 – Low Porosity Doesn’t Mean Porcelain Tiles are Impervious to Stains

This isn't exactly an expert tip; it's essential knowledge we want to share:

Contrary to a common misconception, low-porosity tiles like porcelain are highly resistant but not entirely impervious to stains. Promptly clean up spills to prevent potential staining agents from lingering on the surface. Consequently, while porcelain tiles significantly reduce the likelihood of stains, proactive cleaning is still key to maintaining their pristine appearance.

In other words, “easy to clean” doesn’t mean “effortless cleaning.”

Here’s an actual tip:

Did you know vinegar is a natural disinfectant and deodorizer that can help remove dirt, bacteria, and odors from porcelain tiles?

It can also restore the shine and luster of the tiles without leaving any residue. Mix 1/4 cup of white vinegar with two gallons of warm water to make a cleaning solution. You can also add a few drops of lemon essential oil for a fresh scent. Mop the floor with the solution, making sure to cover every area. Rinse the floor with clean water and dry it with a microfiber cloth.

A dining floor with hexagon-shaped brown concrete look porcelain tilesA dining floor with hexagon-shaped brown concrete look porcelain tiles
8x9 Quilt Hexagon Brown Concrete-look Porcelain Tile from the Scrapbook Collection

Pro Tip No. 2 – Not all Porcelain Tiles Require Sealing or Waxing

Understanding the differences between glazed and unglazed porcelain tiles is crucial. On the one hand, glazed tiles are easy to clean and don’t require sealing or waxing. A mild cleaner or a vinegar solution is sufficient for regular maintenance.

Research shows the “common treatments” with “hydrofluoric acid and those based on ammonium bifluoride” expose their destructive effect on the glazed porcelain tiles. Scanning electron microscopy reveals that treating the glaze with hydrofluoric acid dissolves some of it, creating surface holes—meanwhile, ammonium bifluoride treatment results in a layer of tiny particles resting atop the glaze. It means tile cleaners with hydrofluoric acid and ammonium bifluoride are hazardous to your glazed porcelain tiles’ longevity and elegance.              

On the other hand, unglazed tiles—with their matte finish—require more care and an annual sealing treatment to protect them from stains and moisture. Cleaning unglazed tiles often requires regular mopping using a mild cleaner or the same vinegar solution mentioned earlier.

Pro Tip No. 3 – Different Tile Styles, Different Cleaning Approach

The style of your porcelain tiles matters when it comes to cleaning. For irregular shapes like hexagonal or mosaic tiles, use a small brush or toothbrush for corners and edges.

Small brushes help clean hexagonal or mosaic porcelain tiles by reaching the corners and edges more quickly than larger brushes. Dark-colored tiles may require extra care to avoid water spots, while light-colored tiles—more porous—may need a sealer and a mild cleaner suitable for unglazed tiles.

Looking for Premium Porcelain Tiles in California?

Follow these expert tips to keep your porcelain tiles looking stunning and strong in your living spaces. Regular maintenance is crucial to prevent damage and preserve their beauty.

Avoid common mistakes like using harsh chemicals, ignoring grout lines, or leaving spills unattended. Our expert tips advise that consistent care is critical to maintaining a flawless, long-lasting porcelain tile surface.

Above all, if you're looking for premium porcelain tiles—especially in California—look no further than Otile. Our diverse collection of high-quality tiles, including porcelain, marble, backsplash, subway, and glass mosaic tiles, awaits you.

Connect with us then for more valuable insights and products that cater to all your tile needs. Leave the cleaning worries behind and transform your spaces with our porcelain tile collection.

Written by:

Ali Eftekhari 

Results-driven MBA Professional with 15+ years in the stone, slab, and tile industry.
Expert in strategy, operations, and global relations. Extensive international experience in Brazil, China, India, Turkey, Peru, and the USA.

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